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Budapest/Vienna/Prague recommendations & day trips


My husband and I are planning a 10 day trip in May and I think we have decided on Budapest/Vienna/Prague. I was wondering if anyone had recommendations on the amount of time to stay in each. We like going out and exploring cities, museums, and finding cool restaurants/nightlife.

I also had one other question. As much as we want to see the actual cities... are there any day trips from any of them that we could do some hiking or see some awesome scenic views? We always try to incorporate some hikes into our traveling. I was just wondering if there were some extra interesting/pretty sites outside of any of the cities.

Thanks so much!

Posted by
2419 posts

If you have 10 non-flight days, and to allow for 1 day hiking excursions from each city, I'd suggest 5/4/0 for Budapest/Vienna/Prague, with the 10th day for the train between Budapest and Vienna and some bonus hours in each before and after the train.

This would give you 4 sightseeing (non-hiking) days in Budapest and 3 in Vienna, which I would suggest as a good minimum for each.

Posted by
13426 posts

Lets see, a ten day trip.
So you leave on day one, arrive in Prague on day two.
Day 3 in Prague
Day four take the train to Cesky Krumlov. No much for hiking, but you can kayak the river.
Day five on to Vienna (i would use a transfer service like Bean or Cesky)
Day six in Vienna
Day seven you head for Gyor, Hungary and do a little hiking .... wait, no hiking here either. But a good old town and the nearby Archabbey and winery.
Day eight on to Budapest
Day nine in Budapest
Day 10 fly home.

OR!!! Eliminate one of the three Cities and make no day trips or intermediate stops. I would do 30% of my time in Prague and 70% of my time in Budapest. I would fly open jaw, into Prague and out of Budapest and I would get between Prague and Budapest by plane. Its about 1.5 hours non-stop and about $100. For me that beats 7 hours on a train.

For hiking in Budapest

Posted by
13426 posts

Or better yet, just go to Budapest and do take an over night or two night trip to Lillafured to get you hiking out of your system

Very easy to make ten days out of Budapest with one overnight trip. Rent an apartment, dump the heavy stuff an head out for a night or two. If not Lillafured there are a dozen interesting destinations by train or plane in under 3.5 hours. A couple of months ago I did 3 days in Budapest and 4 days in Bosnia fly fishing ($35 and 1.25 hours on Wizzair out of Budapest) then 4 more days in Budapest. Short trip but rewarding. I am trying to get the time away from work to do a similar trip at Christmas: Budapest - Kyiv - Budapest.

Posted by
3259 posts

When we were planning our recent trip to Budapest/Vienna/Prague we were advised that 2 weeks was doable. After careful consideration we decided to extend our time to 3 weeks. This way we could include day trips. That said, if you are on a time limit I would echo James E. suggestions. Since Budapest was our favorite city we too would recommend an apartment rental. We rented Paty's Place through Andy was our contact. It was a lovely well appointed ground floor one bedroom apartment. It was in the best location in the city (1 minute walk from the Opera House and Andrussy ut). Walking distance to great restaurants and sights. Short walk to tram. I would gladly recommend this apartment service.

Posted by
20866 posts

I don't know what you mean by 10 days. How many nights will you be spending in Europe--not counting the night on the plane?

Those are all major cities, and you'll lose a lot of time as you change cities/hotels; two of your days will shrink to just a few hours. Your departure day will be consumed by getting to the airport, and your arrival day may find you too sleep-deprived and jetlagged to enjoy doing much of anything. Therefore, I think by any definition, 10 days isn't long enough to have a good visit to all three of those cities, and it's certainly not long enough if you want to do day-trips.

Posted by
136 posts

We just came back from our trip to Prague, Vienna and Budapest and had a wonderful time! We stayed three night in each and, with train travel, had two and a half days in each. We arrived in Prague in the afternoon and in our two and a half days there, we saw most of the city, which was absolutely beautiful! We did the Naked Tour Guide Early Morning Tour and really enjoyed it. The Charles bridge was not crowded and our tour guide, Simone, was so friendly and knowledgeable!

We left by train for Vienna and arrived mid-day. We took a day trip the next day to Melk and Durnstein, where we hiked the hillside to the castle ruins! It was one of my favorite days of our trip. We could have used another day in Vienna because of our day trip. There was much more we wanted to see.

Budapest was one of the most beautiful cities to see at night from the Danube. I highly recommend the Legenda candlelight dinner cruise! Food was very good but the scenery was gorgeous! In the two and a half days there, we saw a lot! You can always use another day in every city but we saw everything on our list! The Parliament tour was great but you need to get your tickets in advance and we found the House of Terror worth the wait to get inside.

Every one of these cities have excellent transportation so it is easy to get around (especially Budapest!) I hope your trip is as nice as ours! Three beautiful destinations!

Hello, regarding your one other question, you can go to Salzburg from Budapest for wonderful scenic views. It is one of the best small cities in Europe with a beautiful mountainous view and adventures in the Alps. This city can be easily reachable via train.

Posted by
20866 posts

Budapest to Salzburg is over 5 hours each way by train or by car, so it's not workable as a day-trip.